Q: Our city has a community garden enclosed by a fence. Egress requires a key. Is this permissible?
EDITED: Thank you for the reply. However, the question is not about be excluded from entering, it’s about being blocked from exiting.
City residents can rent a plot for gardening. Each gardener is given a key. The community garden is enclosed with a fence with 2 gates. The gates lock with a chain and padlock. Garden policy states that gardeners are to close and lock the gates behind them every time they are in the garden except during busy times like early season Saturday mornings. This means, most times, egress requires a key, the unlocking and removal of the padlock, and threading the chain out of the eye hook.
The community garden is completely outdoors, completely enclosed with a fence, and is not attached to any building.
If it is city property then they may have a right to exclude people from their property. It depends on why you are asking, which city, is it open to the public, and so on.
If they are excluding you because of something like race or gender then it could be a big problem. But if is because you do not want to pay the fee then it may be permissible. But a city building can lock its doors at night. Just because it is city does not mean it is automatically public at all times. It just depends. If you are really concerned about the city's actions then you need to contact an attorney and do all the legal research on that specific spot. The city may not have a right to exclude anyone. But unfortunately, it is impossible to tell based on the information provided.
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